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From: TSS (
Subject: Karnack Soldier Army specialist James Alford Fighting For His Life And Dignity BATTLING CJD
Date: November 9, 2004 at 7:03 am PST

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Karnack Soldier Fighting For His Life And Dignity
Date: Tue, 9 Nov 2004 08:24:00 -0600
From: "Terry S. Singeltary Sr."
Reply-To: Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy

Karnack Soldier Fighting For His Life And Dignity

A Soldier's Story

Army specialist James Alford, just celebrated his 26th birthday. That is
a milestone for the former Green Beret from Karnack. James suffers from
a rare and fatal brain disease.

We first brought you his story last year as his family fought the Army
to reverse his dishonorable discharge. The family has embarked on
another fight with the Army, while celebrating the miracle that James is
still with them.

Today Jamie, as he is called, is cared for by a part time nurse with his
dog, Tramp, keeping a watchful eye.

"I feel like it comforts Jamie. It gives him a sense of security," says
mom Gail. "She senses when something is not right with Jamie."

Jamie is believed to be suffering from a form of Creutzfeldt- Jakob's
disease, similar to mad cow. His family believes he contracted it by
eating sheep's brains while stationed overseas in the country of Oman.
"One of the honors that they bestow on you is the present you with the
head of the animal that they have prepared. They picked Jamie for this
honor," says dad John.

When Jamie began to act strangely the Army didn't realize he was sick
and gave him a dishonorable discharge. That was the fight the family was
embattled in when we visited them one year ago. "They sent him home to
be court marshaled and have his Green Beret tab removed and discharge
him from the service for bad conduct," says John one year ago.

Since that story aired the Army has reinstated Jamie. But the family's
battle with the Army is not over. Now officials are trying to retire Jamie.

"They say that the reason they want to retire him is because death is no
longer iminent," says John.

Jamie's parents want him to remain on active duty. "He is a wounded
soldier and death is eminent," says John. "It's a matter of honor and

The fact that Jamie is still alive, is a miracle. His ability to walk
has gone, along with his ability to talk. His parents are watching him
slowly die. "He didn't take a bullet to the brain. What he got was much,
much worse," says John.

Doctors do not expect Jamie to live to see this Christmas, but his
parent's aren't giving up hope. "If it's 2 days or if it's two months or
2 years. Whatever time I have with Jamie we will fight it together,"
says Gail.

Jamie has been taking an experimental medication which has helped slow
the progression of C.J.D.

One other note, when we first brought you this story, Jamie's wife Amber
was helping care for him. Amber is also in the Army and right now she is
back at her base in Kentucky. But she calls home often to tell Jamie she
loves him.

Amy Tatum, reporting.


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